older man receiving back massage for immune support

Massage Therapy as Immune System Support

Aside from a balanced diet, taking part in regular exercise is key when you want to boost your immune system. But what else can you do to make your immune system stronger?

Ever tried massage therapy? Perhaps it’s time you did! Here’s why. Massage therapy releases the “feel-good” hormones to relax your body and give you a natural high. But it does more than that!

Research shows that individuals who undertake regular massage therapies enjoy healthier immune systems. That means whether or not you feel sick or tired, routine massage therapy will do you good.

Lets explore the potential benefits of massage therapy in boosting your immune system.

 

Ways Massage Therapy Can Improve Your Immune System

close-up of person receiving foot massage for immune system support

1. Promotes Increased Circulation and Improved Lymphatic Flow

Increased blood circulation and improved lymphatic flow in muscle tissues are the main health benefits of massage therapy.

Typically, the technique applied in this form of therapy facilitates blood flow through congested body areas. This creates a balanced pressure that causes consistent blood flow.

Better blood circulation promotes increased lymphatic flow—driving healthy nutrients and filtering metabolic waste throughout the body parts.

All these processes lead to an improved immune system.

 

2. Increases Lymphocytes Levels

Results from a study facilitated by the National Institutes of Health indicates massage therapy significantly increases lymphocytes levels in a human’s body.

Lymphocytes cells are found in the lymph and blood tissues and appear to have receptor molecules on the surface. These molecules help your immune system fight off harmful substances like antigens by binding and removing them from the body.

Therefore, the role of massage therapy, in this context, is to increase the activity of lymphocytes, and thereby, help your body fight diseases plus improve the immune system.

woman receiving assisted stretching massage to reduce muscle pain

3. Reduces Muscle Pain

The immediate concern arising due to severe pain, away from the hurt it causes, is immune impairment. A report from The National Center for Biotechnology Information shows that pain adversely impacts the body’s immune system by reprograming the functioning of body genes.

Fortunately, massage therapy has an enormous impact on decreasing this kind of pain. Massage involves deep tissue stroking to target the inner layers of your connective tissues and muscles.

This form of therapy relieves tissue tightness and increases tissue elasticity, which in turn reduces body pain. A decrease in pain causes a significant boost in the immune system.

 

4. Reduces Stress

Stress is an immunosuppressor. When under immense stress, the ability of your immune system to fight off antigens reduces, making your body more susceptible to attacks and infections.

Massage limits stress by releasing endorphins which reduce pain and boost pleasure, making you whole. Therapy also lowers your heart rate and increases body temperature to promote relaxation. Body relaxation also brings about reduced heart rate and an improved immune system.

sign reading "self care isn't selfish"

5. Better Mental Health

The mind-body connection is a deep association—these two have a direct link. That’s why poor mental health like depression and anxiety weakens your immune system, making you vulnerable to severe symptoms and infections.

But here’s where massage therapy comes to your rescue! Massage is an excellent therapy for your mental health.

  • It lowers stress
  • Decreases anxiety
  • Reduces irritability

Alongside increasing brain dopamine and serotonin, combining all the above favorable effects leads to an improved immune system.

 

Massage Therapy for a Healthy Immune System

Now you understand the potential benefits of massage therapy in boosting your immune system! Medical experts agree that the short-term benefits of massage therapy are reduced anxiety and stress levels. Notably, the meaningful long-term benefits directly impact immune markers — like healthier lymphocyte levels, increased dopamine, and improved serotonin levels.

Whether you prefer traditional Swedish massage or would like to try an alternate technique, such as assisted stretching or gua sha, Body Restoration Spa provides a variety of customizable bodywork services that can help you stay well during the cold and flu season.  Book an appointment with us today to keep your immune system happy and healthy!

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